For Indian Corporate Media everything is ‘Historic’

India lost some cricket match against some country yesterday. However, the cricket lovers of India have some strange affection to find solace even in loss. Incidentally, Sachin Tendulkar had completed his 50th ton in test cricket. (I may be wrong at this because I dont follow cricket neither do I have any inclination to find out its related records). However, the whole twitteraties and glitteraties starting buzzing with comments like “Sachin is god”, “He is not human…”etc etc. Here are a few gems:

A day before that two dalit women were lynched and killed by a ‘mob’ in Moradabad (perhaps only DNA carried the news).

Now one may argue that both are separate incidents the individuals endorsing or not endorsing any event have their personal freedom to do so. And, I am not denying this. Having said this, my question is: Why should this happen? In other words, why should the lives or rather brutal deaths of two marganilized women by a lynch ‘mob’ not occupy the co called media space? At the same time the loss in a game albeit with some ‘historic’ record of making ‘runs’ while playing cricket becomes cause for celebration?

The answer to the above question is quite simple. I insist it is simple. I have had enough of the rhetorical negation “oh, its complex”. According to me all it does is, it gives an easy excuse for the person saying that “it complex, you don’t know enough” But my question to such rhetorical naysayers is, if you know so much, why don’t you give us the answer/s, instead of giving us rhetoric.

Now, going back to media’s exclusion of the brutal death. Its known that the marginalized are not the clients of the mainstream English media channels such as NDTV, CNN IBN, HEADLINE NEWS, NEWSX etc. Their predominant consumer group is english speaking teen to mid 50’s clients, primarily urban Indian upper class and upper caste households. And, having this ‘client oriented’ programming inclination the mainstream media channels tend to cater their programming in a way that may ‘appeal’ to this group.

The most tragic  presupposition these channels make is their assumption that covering news of the marginalized, be it killing and rapes related to dalits, or non inclusion of 90 million domestic workers working primarily inside the confines of homes will not be covered by the proposed Bill for ‘The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010’. This BILL (among other such important things) was suppose to be discussed in the winter secession of Indian Parliament was stalled thanks to the BJP and their supporters, who preferred to stall the working of the Parliament while still maintaining their ‘confidence’ in the UPA government. Interestingly even this aspect did find virtually no mention in the Corporate Indian ‘mainstream’ TV channels.

90 million may be a small figure, after all if the over 210 million dalits of India find virtually no coverage by these channels except they don’t forget to subtly mention somebody’s dalit background while covering contentious political issues. So much for the complexity of the issues and their understanding.

Lastly, Tendulkar’s cricket score may have been a ‘historic’ event but equally historic will remain corporate media’s systematic exclusion of comprehensive coverage of issues related to dalits in Indian society. A truly historic achievement!

Tweets and Baits: The Fakeness of it All


I am passionate about Hindi cinema. Well, who is not, the consumption of cinema is a national pass time. While watching the Newslaundry video interview of filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj, I got a sense that he was hoping that Shekhar Kapur’s much ‘talked about’ film Paani sould see the light of day sooner than later. Vishal Bharadwaj was not sure why Shekhar Kapur would not complete his film but ‘talk about it’ since seven years.

While following Shekhar Kapur on twitter I was rather intrigued to see the following tweet on the 28th November 2012:


A few days before directly referring to Paani, Shekhar Kapur twitted about cricket, Indian Parliament, politicians, Kejriwal and his Aam Admi Party, the FDI issue etc. This is apparent from his timeline.

Closely analyze the words of the above tweet and it gives a sense that Shekhar Kapur is passionate about his ‘futuristic’ film Paani as a director but he hopes to find an equally passionate producer. In other words, it gives a sense that he has NOT found a producer YET for Paani. So far so good!

On 29th Shekhar tweeted this:


Again it gives an impression that Shekhar is still on a ‘look out’ for a producer.

On the same day (29th November) he tweets this:


Why is he referring to himself in third person is anybody’s guess. But so far the tweets (mentioned above) give a sense that Shekhar Kapur has not yet found a producer for Paani and the future of this much ‘talked about’ film is bleak. On the 30th November comes the ‘big’ announcement but in the subtlest form.


Here Shekhar disclosed his twitter followers the NEWS that Yash Raj Films shall be producing the film. Finally, the acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, director of Elizabeth found a producer for his film (that is ‘like his child’) in Aditya Chopra of YRF. As ironical as it sounds, according to Shekhar Kapur he needed a producer as passionate as him to nurture his child. But wait; did YRF decide to produce Paani overnight? Because just
going back two days, Shekhar seems oblivious to any producer being available. May be I am wrong. But then, what is the meaning of the words: “Will Shekhar Kapur ever make this film that he keeps talking about?” There can be three answers to this question.

a. Yes b. No c. May be

Yes, if he finds a producer! But from the tweets it makes us believe that there isn’t one YET. May be he is still hoping to find an equally passionate producer.

No, there is no producer in sight yet and until he finds a producer Paani cannot be made. So, no Panni. Plain and simple.

May be! This is the tricky one. May be yes, may be no. Yes, he may be able to make his film Paani if he finds a producer, perhaps he is in talk with a few but nothing is finalized yet, right? We don’t know this because he has not mentioned about this anywhere.

Nevertheless, the bottom line remains that Shekhar Kapur had not found a producer for Paani even until 7.59AM 29th November 30, 2012 or had he?


Interestingly enough, overnight Shekhar Kapur seems to have ‘found’ YRF who apparently decided to spend $30 million on Paani? Sounds exaggerated? May be it is, but then here is another fact.


On the day Shekhar Kapur decides to let the twitter world know about YRF’s decision to produce Paani the same day Hollywood reporter publishes the same NEWS? So coming back to the moot point, did Shekhar Kapur NOT know two days ago that Aditya Chopra of YRF may produce his film? It is very unlikely. How come Hollywood Reporter published the NEWS the same day? But then, Shekhar Kapur very conveniently got away by baiting his twitter followers by using words such as:

A film needs passion from director, but for a futuristic film as vast as Paani needs producer who is willing 2 give it as much passion (On the 28 th November).

Every1 keeps asking me about star cast of Paani. But d most important person is a producer who is as passionate about d film as I am. Who? (On the 29 th November).

Lets talk about Paani then? Will Shekhar Kapur ever make this film that he keeps talking about? (Again on the 29th November)

Until the 29th November his tweets made an impression that a producer for Paani is a distant future and his ardent ‘followers’ yearning that he finds one soon. Then suddenly on the 30th November we have the announcement of YRF producing it. Strange, but that’s what has happened.

Water scarcity is an issue. This is a known fact. The poorest of the poor living in the slums of Mumbai are the ones to know it best from their lived experience. Perhaps better than you and me who are reading this? Now, do we need Shekhar Kapur to tell us that ‘it is problem’ and perhaps even visually show us his imaginary ‘futuristic’ solution at the cost of Aditya Chopra’s $30 million? This is perhaps the least important question. Because, by the end of the day, no film has been able to come up with a solution. Yes, it may create a certain level of ‘awareness’ amongst a few – especially the urban elites that may watch Paani at the multiplexes. But will it make any difference to ones who can afford bottled water and have access to water tankers?

Will people suddenly give up flush system in their toilets that drain 5 liters of water irrespective if one takes a shit or piss? Will the situation of Paani in India or anywhere in the world be any different after the screening of Paani? I am sure it will cross the 100 crore club, the latest benchmark for a film’s ‘success’ in India. In fact, I am sure it will surpass even 200 crore, but what difference will it make to those kids whose photo was posted by Shekar Kapur in this Paani ‘research pic’?


For the countless poor in the slums, they will be even glad to just see the film, much less make any difference to their lives. Forget seeing the film, they may not have been fortunate enough to even see their own picture on twitter posted as ‘Paani research pic.’

However, by the time the box-office would have stopped counting, the producer, director, cast and crew, media outlets, distributors and multiplex owners would have all had their share of their pie. After all they would give their sweat, blood and their best effort to make the film Paani a success.

For the audience, I just hope that after seeing the film it makes them a little less thirsty.

Can you please be clear?

Dalit party wants Sena, MNS derecognised

This misleading headline alludes to “Dallt party wants Sena” but seeks to have the MNS de-recognized. Perhaps it would have been appropriate if it read: “Dalit Party wants Sena and MNS derecognised.”

Dalit party wants Sena, MNS derecognised

Sat, Feb 6 11:35 AM

Lucknow, Feb. 6 — Dalit political outfit Indian Justice Party (IJP) plans to petition the Election Commission or the Supreme Court, seeking the de-recognition of the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena as political parties.

“Bal and Raj Thackeray are playing divisive politics,” IJP president Udit Raj said at a press conference on Friday. “They are out to make Indians fight against Indians.

” Udit Raj, also chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, said he would meet the chief election commissioner on Monday and, if the demand to disband both parties was not met, would file a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court.

Hindustan Times

Patronage after crime?



Here is an excellent example of blatant patronage to a fraudster. Although Ramalinga Raju has acknowledged “cooking up” of Stayam’s Balance sheets thereby resigning from the company that led to his downfall, these employees find “nothing wrong” in supporting him. What does this signify? That perhaps when you are million-dollar fraudster, you will often be looked upto? I wonder where will these people “stand” if and when Ramalinga Raju and his accomplice get convicted and hopefully see a descent prison term.

When CNN IBN commented on the latest developments of the Satyam scam, the news article that accompanied this picture spoke of everything but the implication or significance of such patronage for a self-acknowledged fraudster by his company employees.

Interestingly enough, one of the placards here says, “With you forever.” I guess with such people to support it would not be difficult to “cook” up balance sheets and siphon off company cash.

“Half homework done – Thank You CNN-IBN” – The Terrorist

With this news, CNN IBN on their website literally show the google earth map of where the lone living suspect (Kasab) of the 26/11, 2008 Mumbai incident will be held, they surely could not have done a better job, albeit of the terrorists.

This news not only shows the proposed location where Kasab will be held, but also points to the cell he will be kept into. In an times where such sensitive information about the whereabouts of high profile suspects are suppose to be kept confidential, CNN-IBN decided to make it “common knowledge”.

With this IBN has done half the homework, I am sure potential terrorists will thank IBN for this handy piece of information. Great job Toral!


Following is the link to CNN- IBN’s “handy” work! 

Securing Kasab: Behind bars, beyond escape


TimePublished on Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 07:50, Updated on Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 08:18 in Nation section